De-escalation by Slaughter and Displacement: Max Blumenthal’s Woke Syria Peace Plan
At the “Syria and the Left” panel co-hosted by Verso Books and Muftah, panelist Max Blumenthal called for ending arms shipments to anti-Assad rebels as a means of de-escalating a war that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Syrians.
Disarming one side in a war is not a recipe for de-escalation but a formula for shifting the balance of power between the warring parties to the disadvantage of the disarmed side. But calling for an end to the rebel arms supply has a major political upside for Blumenthal — it allows him to posture as an advocate of peace while pushing a policy that would lead to more killing of Syrian civilians and the creation of more Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons.
In the name of de-escalation, Blumenthal wants to deprive the Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front rebels of the anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). Rebels rely on ATGMs supplied by the U.S. and its Gulf state allies to keep Assad’s armor from re-taking areas of the country currently governed by some 400 local democratic councils set up by revolutionaries to break the regime’s stranglehold over basic necessities.
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